What’s the best dartboard available in NZ?
Believe it or not, there are around 40 different brands or varieties of dartboards available either online or in store in New Zealand that are considered “official boards” of the DPNZ (Dart Players New Zealand) and/or the WDF (World Darts Federation). If you add in the cheaper varieties normally designed for the home or garage player, we estimate there is upwards of a hundred different types of boards out there available in NZ for players to choose from.
With the new Unicorn Eclipse Ultra and Winmau Blade 6 dartboards released in recent weeks, the options for New Zealand based customers will only grow further into 2022.
So here, we will focus on just six of the top dartboards currently available in the NZ marketplace today. How they differ from each other and look at which one would best suit you for your game and pocket.
Shot Bandit Duro
Made by NZ based Shot Darts in their overseas plant for the global market. The Bandit Duro is the next step on from the original Bandit dartboard that has been around for about 30 years now. The Bandit Duro differs as its African sisal is “hard packed” meaning it will take a pounding and handle the harder thrower that might use heavier darts. I stocked a local dart club with these boards a couple of years ago and with regular turning, they have certainly lasted well and have plenty of life left in them. It is a “staple-free” board and has “white razor-bladed wires” that are quoted by Shot to be “50% finer than a standard dartboard”. At around $150, it is considered one of the best dartboards in the NZ marketplace today and one I would personally recommend.
One80 Gladiator III
This dartboard was the official dartboard for the BDO (British Darts Organisation) so that in itself should tell you something about its quality. At around $120 in NZ, it will be one of the best priced top of the range dartboards on the market today. It too is staple free including its bullseye with its sisal also sourced from Africa with “1st grade super dense Kenyan sisal”. The One80 Gladiator III dartboard has “sword edge wires” which provide for maximum scoring without the dreaded bounce outs. It is also quoted as having “non-fade colours” if that is ever an issue for you. I’m not sure I’ve ever kept a board long enough to worry about the colours fading. One for the outdoor darter maybe? But this certainly is a top-notch dartboard that will last and leave a couple of dollars left in your pocket for something else.
Formula Sports Micro-Band III
The Micro-Band III dartboard produced by Formula Sports, Australia provides probably the best value in terms of price, with this dartboard ranging throughout NZ stores in the $90-$120 range. Formula Sports has been around for 30 years as a distributor and manufacturer of darts products, so they should know their stuff. This dartboard has everything you need with regards to having super dense high-grade sisal, ultra-thin wire and a staple free bullseye. They claim this board has “the wire and staple free bullseye powder coated white to eliminate any unwanted glare and add definition to scoring segments” and like all the boards in this article, its “sizing meets World Darts Federation specifications”.
Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core
Winmau have just recently released their Blade 6 version of their Blade dartboard range. In fact, the Blade 6 has three versions, the Blade 6 original, the dual core and now a triple core option. But until it arrives in little ‘ol NZ, the Blade 5 board will probably remain as one of the most popular dartboards available in the NZ marketplace today. The Blade 5 Dual Core differs from all other dartboards as it has a dual core. What does that mean? The outer core of the dartboard has been made with “reduced density to facilitate smooth dart penetration”. The inner portion of the board or inner core has been packed with a higher density which “absorbs excess kinetic energy and optimises dart retention and durability” according to Winmau. In other words, the outer part allows the dart to penetrate further when aiming at or around the doubles. (Mostly around in my case). The inner part is more durable with the harder packed sisal as the player uses the inner or around the triple area more (hopefully). The Winmau Blade 5 is actually Winmau’s highest selling dartboard of all time. Most likely as they managed to increase the playable scoring area of both the double and treble scoring areas by a reduction in size of the wires (by 14%). The Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core also comes with a triple wheel lock-and-level system to secure the dartboard to virtually any surface. It is sold throughout NZ at around the $150 mark.
Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 PDC
Like Winmau, Unicorn have just released their latest dartboard, the Eclipse Ultra which can be seen on TV with every PDC darts event recently. Unicorn stole the march on Winmau by releasing their latest dartboard offering just a few weeks before them. When the Eclipse Ultra finally arrives on NZ’s shores, it is suggested to be selling at around the $200 plus region, so time will tell if it takes off here! The Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 PDC has been made popular due to Unicorn’s deal with the PDC to be their “official dartboard supplier” and the PDC’s TV rights that they have with ITV Sport, both deals are due for renewal or negotiation by the end of 2022. Aside from the politics as some call it, the Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 PDC dartboard is of course PDC endorsed, has staple-free construction with a slimmer bullseye wire as Unicorn claims increases the playing area by 14%. At around the $130 mark, it remains one of the popular boards available in NZ today.
Harrows Pro Matchplay
Quoted as the “official dart board for DPNZ” the Harrows Pro Matchplay is another board from the big names in darts in the UK. Harrows darts have been around since 1973 and have backed players like 5 times world champion, Eric Bristow amongst others. Their dartboards have proven in time to be up there with the best, this “Pro Matchplay” version is no exception. Harrows claim this is a “high density, staple free bristle board which features knife wire dividers, low glare number ring and is truly the ultimate no bounce-out concept”. It is available in NZ from quite a wide price range between $140 and $180 depending on where you source it from.
Bullseye Darts supply some of these dartboards online and sent direct to your home, with contactless and free delivery everywhere in New Zealand. All others are available to buy either online or in store throughout NZ depending on the brand and your location.
Bullseye Darts is New Zealand’s largest online only darts store with over 700 darts, stems, flights, dartboards and plenty more to choose from.
Straight Arrows everyone.